Thursday, January 11, 2007

'Rosie's' Story- A National and Local Disgrace

Although I know Joe Duffy since student politics days, I rarely get to listen to his 'Liveline' show as I'm at work most days when it airs. All that changed this week however. I'm at home with a miserable viral bug, and I am listening to anything to take my mind off things. It was with huge interest then that I listened to Wednesday's show, when a caller called 'Rosie' phoned in from Kilkenny in extreme anger at the failure of our local health services to treat her in time for bowel cancer, which she has now been infrmed is treminal.

For you to make your own judgement, you can read Rosie's letter here, or listen to the podcast here where she reads it herself to the nation.

As it happens, I know 'Rosie', which is not her real name, and I share her anger at what happened to her. I'm a very strong supporter of St. Luke's and recognise the great work they are doing with very limited resources. I listened to Ian Wilson, the hard-working and dedicated surgeon in St. Luke's doing his best to defend the indefensible this morning on KCLR, and yesterday on Liveline. Ian explained the lack of resources in the hospital very well and fairly, but I would disagree fundamentally with his defence of the two-tier health system. Ian may be right that those admitted to St. Luke's are seen in order of need on the waiting lists, but he freely admitted this morning that those of us fortunate enough to have private health insurance can opt to cross the road to Aut Even hospital where he and others have private practices and can treat patients who can afford it in much shorter times. Hopefully 'Rosie' will kick start a debate locally and nationally on this Government's agenda on the Health system, which favours private care over public.

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